Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday responded to criticisms made by political analysts and opponents regarding his leadership, especially for failing to appease the European Union over the possible suspension of Cambodia’s Everything-but-arms preferential trade status.
The European Commission is currently reviewing whether or not the EU should suspend the Kingdom’s EBA status due to perceived democratic and human rights setbacks.
On Friday, Mr Hun Sen met cyclo drivers in Phnom Penh and drank beer with them, prompting criticism from some political analysts.
Heng Kimhong, programme officer with the People Center for Development and Peace, in an interview with Radio Free Asia on Saturday said Mr Hun Sen should instead pay more attention in order to prevent the suspension of EBA.
On the same day, political analyst Bong Deth said Mr Hun Sen does not have the intention to solve national issues.
“Hun Sen should stop the culture of double-standards within the judicial system,” Mr Deth said, adding that the ruling CPP’s Cyclo Foundation should be placed under a government institution, not a political party. “He should also stop the Cyclo Foundation under his CPP.”
Mr Hun Sen yesterday said the criticisms were baseless.
“Some analysts said Hun Sen should not meet garment workers and cyclo drivers,” he said. “They said I should instead solve major issues.”
“I went to meet workers to solve social problems and they criticised me for it. They said I should resolve the democracy crisis and the EBA problem,” Mr Hun Sen added. “You are useless, I can’t accept your idea. You can analyse whatever you want, but I do whatever I wish.”
Additionally, Mr Hun Sen slammed unnamed former opposition party members who criticised his visit with the cyclo drivers.
“I was toasting and chatting with cyclo drivers, but foolish people who have fled the country said I was setting a bad example for all people by having a beer with the drivers,” he said. “Do I have no right? They are waiting to catch my mistake.”